Home Food Odisha Demands Dues Release

Odisha Demands Dues Release

Bhubaneswar: Once again, the State Government has urged the Centre for release of long-pending food subsidy dues of Rs 14,249 crore.
Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak has written a letter to Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Piyush Goyal on this issue.

Odisha State Civil Supplies Corporation Ltd. (OSCSC), the nodal agency of the State procures paddy at Minimum Support Price (MSP) from the farmers and undertakes distribution of food grains under NSA and other welfare schemes.

As per MoU signed between the State Government and Centre, there has to be zero financial liability on the procuring agencies with regard to permissible items of cost to be borne by Government of India, Nayak said in his letter.

The anticipated cost is required to be released in the form of advance subsidy at the rate of 90% of admissible claim on quantity basis in the first month of every quarter, he said.

Further, the State Government/OSCSC shall be paid quarterly provisional subsidy after deduction of advance amount. But, the release advance and provisional subsidy to Odisha is highly irregular, he stated.

“Huge amount of outstanding food subsidy remains receivable from the Government of India totalling to Rs. 14,249.07 crore. It includes Rs. 5,027.36 crore of provisional subsidy claim upto 3rd Quarter and Rs. 1469.78 crore of unpaid advance subsidy claim bill for 4th quarter of this financial Year 2022-23,” read the letter.

The State Minister also said that as per Standing Operating Procedure(SOP) issued by Department of Food and Public Distribution, there are provisions for replacement of stock by rice miller followed by certification by the joint team which is to be completed within six weeks.

The certificate of replacement is a mandatory document for release of subsidy to the State. However, the abnormal delay is being done for inspection by DFPD officials which causes hindrance for receipt of subsidy in respect of BRL rice stock.

Shri Nayak sought intervention of Goyal for timely inspection by DFPD officials in the matter of BRL rice stocks and to streamline the process.

He said the delay and short release of subsidy has put OSCSC Ltd. in tremendous financial hardship on two accounts, firstly due to non-recoupment of interest and liquidity crunch to manage the procurement operations.

Shri Nayak sought intervention of the Union Minister for release of the pending subsidy due to the State and release of provisional subsidy & advance subsidy claim as cited above at the earliest.

Since all the resources including the sanctioned limit of bank finance have already been exhausted, further paddy procurement may be severely affected if the subsidy from Gol is not received at the earliest, he warned.